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OK, I am a bit vague on domestic electrics so I thought I would ask here.

Sandra bought a cascade, solar-powered water feature for the garden, the object being to have the gentle sound of water added to the area where we spend a lot of time drinking, eating and drinking. :drunken:

It arrived, complete with a mini submersible pump and a hefty solar panel. But this is where it went wrong in that what we had expected was for the solar to produce energy that would be stored in a battery so that we could switch it on at seven in the evening.

But this is not what it is. The power is direct, when sunlight falls directly on the panel the water cascades, the slightest shadow and it stops. This ends all chance of use in the evenings.

The side of the pump reads "4-12v [DC symbol] 3.5W max" ... -Only.html

Is there a solution for some kind of battery add-on that we could charge from the mains and plug in to the cascade when and if we want it?

This isn't a fountain, so the pump can operate at the lower end of its performance range without issue. I think it runs at 6V at the moment (I was about to write 'currently' then thought better of it.)


Rob P
The receptacle of the cable seems to be the female version of what you commonly find on other electrical articles.

Can you not stick something that fits and will power it from an extension lead (think we need to advise here that the extension lead should have an RCD in it/at it/go in it)


If it doesn't you could just splice the cable of the feed into it and solder it.
Rob P liked this
There is a mains adapter available, but the area we hide in is at the bottom of a long thin garden and would need the full length of our extension cable. That makes it option C.

Rob P
Jodelman liked this
I would have thought that something like this would have driven the pump happily:

(as used to power the panel of our RF-3).

It's compact and cheap. Charge as needed.
johnm liked this
Sooty25 wrote:what does it say on the solar panel?

"Made in China" (just guessing).
Rob P, Charles Hunt, Colonel Panic and 1 others liked this
Get a controller so that the panel charges the battery, battery to power the pump. Make a waterproof cover for the battery and controller and camouflage it to blend in with garden feature or other.
Sounds like it wouldn't be enough to overcharge a lead acid battery. The simplest solution may be to put a 6V lead acid battery directly in parallel with the solar panel. You might need a diode to stop backfeeding the battery through the solar panel. Would be useful to measure the voltage from the solar panel when in full sunshine and the pump turned on or off.

I'm not sure the solar cell voltage will be high enough to run a solar charge controller and hence to a 6V battery, but if the solar voltage is higher than 6V when in the sun then it could work. I have one of these (though 12V) for running the lights in my garage.

It has a low quiescent current (meaning it won't discharge your battery much when the cell stops charging the battery).

The battery should be big enough to run the pump for however long you want to run it while discharging the battery no more than 50% for a good battery life.
Last edited by Paul_Sengupta on Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.